Aside from the more obvious comparisons, Diab says that he loves “grounded cinema,” particularly the works of Mexican and Iranian filmmakers that he says were integral to shaping his visual style. When asked about specifics, Diab further explained:
“I’m just going to talk about modern people, like Asghar Farhadi. I love Asghar Farhadi. [Abbas] Kiarostami is like a legend. These are the Iranians. And definitely the trio: [Alejandro Gonzalez] Iñarritu, [Alfonso] Cuarón, and [Guillermo] del Toro. I love those three. For modern cinema, I think they’re all legends.”
It’s extremely exciting to hear that world cinema is influential to a tentpole project like this one, since so many superhero projects these days seem to only be drawing from one another. Diab’s well of filmmaking influences clearly runs deep and expands beyond the borders of the American superhero subgenre. Farhadi’s best-known works, like “A Hero” and the Oscar-winning drama “A Separation,” dig deep into their characters to reveal nuanced emotions. He and “Close-Up” filmmaker Kiarostami both present works that are rooted in their cultural and political moments, all of which comes through via their striking visuals. Meanwhile, the trio of Mexican filmmakers Diab references each present profound and dynamic visions of Mexico and beyond.
All of this bodes well for “Moon Knight,” which has the chance to be one of the edgier projects to come from within the modern, Marvel-centric studio system in recent years. Diab has also recently spoken about trying to untangle decades of exoticized portrayals of Egypt, and make “Moon Knight as “authentic as possible, [while] in the realm of being fantastical.”
“Moon Knight” premieres on Disney+ March 30, 2022.